The Widget Options plugin is one of the most feature-rich plugins available for WordPress. Quite frankly, I’m surprised more sites aren’t using it.
In this WordPress Widget Options plugin review, I’m going to show you everything this plugin can do (buckle up!). There are tons of features included in the free version, but the premium version is incredibly affordable (and totally worth it).
If you spend any amount of time utilizing WordPress widgets, or really want to take control of WordPress sidebars, I highly recommend you check it out.
Table of Contents
Widget Options Plugin Settings
Right out of the gate, you’ll notice how integrated Widget Options is with WordPress.
- They don’t add a bunch of annoying side menus to your admin area
- You can easily deactivate widget options you don’t need
- The settings are easy to understand & configure
How to Customize Settings & Disable Features
There’s one, simple interface to manage your settings, disable features & enter your license key.
- Navigate to Settings > Widget Options
- Enter your license key and click Activate License (premium only)
- Use the buttons to Enable or Disable the features you need
- Click Configure Settings to adjust a feature’s options
That’s really all there is to properly set up the Widget Options plugin. Now let’s dive into all the amazing things this plugin can do.
Widget Options Features
There are over 20 different features of this plugin; 10 are completely free, and there are another 14 premium features. Let’s walk through each of them.
01Page Visibility Free
You have the following visibility options:
- Hide or Show: choose between hiding widgets on certain pages, or only showing them on certain pages
- Pages: choose specific static Pages you want to show/hide your widget on
- Post Types: show/hide your widget on an entire custom post type
- Categories: show/hide your widget on specific post categories
- Tags: show/hide your widget on specific post tags
- Miscellaneous: show/hide widgets on specific page types like your homepage, 404, archive pages, search, etc.
02Device Restriction Free
With device restriction, you can choose to show or hide widgets on specific devices:
Just check the box and click Save, and your responsive sidebar is ready to go.
03Custom Alignment Free
Custom alignment allows you to choose between 4 different alignments for your widget’s content:
You can even choose a different alignment for desktop, tablet & mobile devices.
04Hide Title Free
Widget titles are optional, but if you use a lot of widgets, they help you more easily identify which one is which. With Widget Options, you can add a widget title on the backend, but choose not to show it on the front-end to your visitors.
And it’s simple. Just check a box to hide your widget’s title from your visitors.
05Custom Classes & IDs Free
This is a great feature for developers, or anyone using a custom WordPress theme. It allows you to add custom classes and/or an ID to specific widgets.
There is no limit to the amount of classes you apply (but only 1 ID per widget). You can even create a set of pre-defined classes that you can apply using a checkbox. This will eliminate the accidental misspelling of a class name, and help keep your CSS more streamlined when adding styles.
06Display Logic Free
If you need to implement more advanced display rules for your WordPress widgets, display logic let’s you utilize WordPress conditional statements. You can show/hide widgets based on specific page/post IDs, specific categories or tags, or any combination of rules that you manually determine.
Here are a few examples of how to conditionally display widgets using the Widget Options plugin:
! is_home()– Display a widget everywhere except the home page
is_page()– Show your widget only on static pages, as opposed to posts
is_single( array( 17, 19, 1, 11 ) )– Display a widget only on posts with these 4 post IDs
is_archive() && ! is_category( 'nachos' )– Display a widget only on archive pages, but not the “nachos” category archive page
07Live Widget Search Free
The widget search feature is extremely useful if you have a ton of available widgets. Instead of scrolling through a long list, you can use this helpful search feature.
- Start typing the name of a widget
- Click on the widget to add it to a sidebar
- Then click which sidebar you’d like to add the widget to
Here’s a short video demonstrating how it works:
08Move Widgets Free
Once again, with a lot of widgets, it can be challenging to drag-n-drop one widget to a different sidebar area. This is especially difficult on mobile device.
The Move Widgets feature adds a button you can click to move your widget to another sidebar. Check out the animation below to see how it works.
09Import & Export Widgets Free
If you’re in the business of reusing certain WordPress widgets, or need to move them to another site and retain their settings, the import/export feature makes it super easy.
Simply export all of your current widget configurations into a
.json file, and you can upload them to your new site.
10Widget Area Options Free
Enabling this feature will provide two additional options that may be useful, depending on your needs. It allows you to:
- Remove all widgets from a sidebar, with one click
- Download a backup copy of all widgets in a sidebar
That is the end of the free features of the WordPress Widget Options plugin, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Here’s a look at the really good stuff available with the premium version.
11Fixed Widgets Premium
With the simple click of a checkbox, you can implement fixed widgets in your sidebar. Your widget will stick to the top of the browser window as a user scrolls down the page, keeping your widget in view.
12Clone Widgets Premium
Just like you can move a widget from one sidebar to another, you can also clone widgets. Add an exact replica of any widget to another sidebar with a few simple clicks.
- Click the Clone link
- Choose the sidebar you wish to clone the widget to
- Click the Clone Widget button
13Custom Links Premium
This neat feature allows you to link the entire contents of your widget to any page you’d like. You can add custom text, HTML, an image, etc. and make the entire thing clickable.
You have the following options for your link:
- Enter any custom URL
- Choose to open the link in a new tab (optional)
- Choose to add
- Apply to the title only (optional)
14Column Display Premium
Choose up to 4 columns to display each of your WordPress widgets. This allows you to position widgets side-by-side.
- Use a different column setup for desktop, tablet & mobile
- Apply a clearfix to resolve floating issues
15User Role Restriction Premium
Do you run a WordPress site where multiple users have access? User role restriction allows you to control which WordPress user roles have access to certain widgets. Restrict widgets to:
- shop owners
- seo managers
- or any other custom role you have created
16Days & Date Range Restriction Premium
Want to display your WordPress widgets on certain days of the week? How about between certain date ranges?
This feature is great for running seasonal promotions, or any time-sensitive content.
17Custom Styling Premium
With the premium version of the Widget Options plugin, you can easily customize the style of your widgets. Here are just some of the options available:
- background color and/or image
- link styling
- border styling
<form>and button styling
- borders for lists & tables
18Animation Effects Premium
Add some flare to your widgets with animation effects. Choose from over 30 different animations, as well as a handful of other customizations:
- choose animation effect
- initiate the animation on page load, or when the element enters the screen
- set a custom animation speed
- hide the widget before the animation occurs
- optionally set an animation delay
Here’s a short video overview:
19Extended Taxonomy Visibility Premium
This feature gives you even more fine-grained control over your WordPress widget’s visibility. It’s a great solution for WooCommerce shops, as you can show/hide certain widgets on product categories.
20Disable Widgets Premium
Here’s another great feature for sites with a ton of available widgets. Let’s say you use the popular Jetpack plugin. Maybe you only use 1 or 2 of the Jetpack widgets, but Jetpack adds a bunch of widgets you’ll never use.
With this feature, you can disable any of the widgets that themes or plugins add to your list of available widgets. This will make your most frequently used widgets much easier to find.
21Enhanced Permissions Premium
With this feature, you can hide all widget options to a specific user role. I haven’t tested this one out personally, but it provides another level of permissions for sites with many users.
With Widget Options premium, you can use a shortcode to insert a widget anywhere on a post, page or custom post type. Take the power of WordPress widgets out of your sidebar, and use them throughout your entire site.
23Widget Cache Premium
Page speed is becoming more and more important. Visitors expect sites to load quickly, and Google is rewarding fast-loading sites with better search engine rankings.
- Set the timeframe you want your widgets to be cached for
- Clear the cache with one click
- Choose to not cache specific widgets
23URL & Wildcard Restrictions Premium
This feature will give you the option to show/hide widgets based on specific URLs. For example, you can use
* as a wildcard, and hide all the sub-pages of a parent page.
Widget Options Page Builder Support
We’ve gone through most of the Widget Options plugin’s features, but there are a few more goodies we have to mention. Widget Options is compatible with several WordPress page builders, including:
- Beaver Builder
All of these integrations are included in the free version.
Slide-In Widgets & Popups
This is one of the coolest features of the Widget Options plugin. It is sold as a separate add-on, so you could opt for the free version of the main plugin, and just buy this add-on by itself (if you don’t need the premium features mentioned above).
Here’s a good look into everything this add-on can do:
With this add-on, you can take any WordPress widget, and turn it into a slide-in or modal popup on your site. Choose from a ton of different options. Here are just some of the features:
- include as many slide-ins or popups on the page as you’d like
- add custom icons & text
- open the slide-in/popup on mouse hover, click or once a user scrolls a certain percentage of the page
- choose the widget’s position: top, bottom, right, left, etc.
- everything is 100% responsive, and works on all screen sizes & devices
- plus all the same visibility & show/hide options as mentioned in the features above
Pricing for this add-on starts at $19.95 for use on 1 site. Buy now »
Widget Options Plans & Pricing
The Widget Options WordPress plugin offers 3 premium plans alongside their free option. All paid plans include all premium features, as well as dedicated support.
- Free: Lots of features. This might be all you need.
- Personal: $29/yr for 1 site
- Business: $59/yr for 5 sites
- Developer: $199/yr for unlimited sites
WordPress Widget Options Plugin: Final Word
This is easily one of the best WordPress widget plugins that you’ll find. There aren’t many plugins that provide this many features for free; and the premium options are totally worth the price.
Widget Options is an actively developed plugin, and the plugin author is a committed member of the WordPress community. You’ll receive excellent support, and I suspect even more features will be released, especially once Gutenberg launches with WordPress 5.0.
Why 5 stars?
I reserve 5 stars for the absolute best plugins WordPress has to offer. In a nutshell, Widget Options receives our highest ranking because:
- the features solve widespread WordPress challenges
- it’s beautifully designed, and adopts WordPress’ existing design
- you can enable/disable all features, keeping the plugin extremely lean
- it’s incredibly intuitive. Features are easy to find and clear how to use.